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Pfizer: COVID vaccine supply ‘on track’, despite manufacturing delay

Pfizer: There will be a short-term reduction in supply to enable increased production volumes
Pfizer: There will be a short-term reduction in supply to enable increased production volumes

Deliveries of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccines are “on track” despite a “short-term reduction in supply”, the manufacturer has assured.

Pfizer announced last week that deliveries of its COVID-19 vaccines to several nations – including the UK – would be delayed, as its manufacturing site in the Belgian town of Puurs undergoes an expansion to increase its global output for 2021, from 1.3 billion doses to 2bn.

However, the manufacturer told C+D on Monday (January 18) that supplies for “nominated distribution centres are on track and progressing according to our agreed schedule” and projected volumes for the UK remains the same for the first quarter of the year.

The UK has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for 2021, according to the government.

The news comes as the first pharmacies in England start to offer the COVID-19 vaccination service and as ministers and healthcare leaders suggest that the programme will be rolled out to more pharmacies “as supplies allow”.

Commenting on the manufacturing delays in Puurs, a spokesperson for Pfizer told C+D: “We understand a change to deliveries has the potential to create uncertainty.

“We continue to liaise with the UK government and the vaccines taskforce to work through the short-term impact of these changes to our January deliveries and support the goals of the UK COVID-19 vaccination programme.”

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